Juan Manuel Marquez heroically rallied from being knocked down three times in the first round to gain a draw with Manny Pacquiao in 2004. In 2008, the two met again in a second Fight of the Year contender, with Pacquiao pulling out a very close split decision victory. It was the last time that Manny faced any real resistance in a fight.
On November 12, they'll do it again. All that remains are the formalities, as Marquez has signed the contract. Over the years, Marquez has insisted he deserved the win in both of the two previous fights, and finally he gets his long-chased third shot at the Filipino star. Pacquiao may not feel quite like Marquez does, but this will also mark the first time since the Marquez rematch that there's no love lost between Manny and his coming opponent.
"I will beat him, and I will do it for all of the Mexican people. It will be a tough fight, but I will win again just like I did before in 2004 and 2008."
Bad blood and past controversy will have to sell this fight, combined with the fact that Marquez has been Pacquiao's equal over 24 rounds. And I think that can sell this fight. When you put that together with the fact that Pacquiao has a huge fanbase, and Marquez has a great built-in fanbase, you could be looking at a terrific pay-per-view performance. For all of its faults as a fight, the media push for Pacquiao vs Mosley proved to work, resulting in a reported 1.3 million buys, Pacquiao's biggest PPV sale to date.
"But what about the bad fight?" As much as it might pain some, "bad" major event pay-per-view fights have yet to prove out as a factor in future PPV sales. It just never does happen. People buy the push and the hype, every time. And Marquez can be unpleasant -- which can sell. He's not going to spend months hugging Manny and complimenting his great abilities. He's going to talk about beating him, period. This could be a total 180 from the Mosley pressers.
If handled right, this fight could be a huge PPV hit.